Protestant Reformed Church
Lord’s Day, 4
"For the eyes of the
LORD run to and fro throughout the
whole earth, to shew
himself strong in the behalf of them
whose heart is perfect
toward him" (II Chron. 16:9)
Morning Service -
Gideon, Mighty Man of Valour
A Most "Unorthodox" Battle
I. The Attack of the
II. The Rout of the
III. The Offence of the Cross
Psalms: 150:1-6; 105:28-37;
Service - 6:00 PM
Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s
Day 16; John 19:38-42
I. The Events
II. The Humiliation
III. The Glory
105:38-45; 34:16-22; 16:6-11
For audio cassettes of the
worship services or CDs of the sermons, contact Sean Courtney
Quotes to Consider:
Prof. David J. Engelsma on Gideon’s battle with the
Midianites: "The history of Judge Gideon gives striking evidence of
the wrath of God’s working in his providential government of all things
to destroy the enemies of his covenant ... The true church, battling
mighty foes in the face of overwhelming odds, must not fear. God calls
her to her warfare. He equips her with the wisdom and power of the
Spirit of Christ. But he also governs her foes. This government extends
to their thoughts and emotions. In his own time, he will bring these
foes to defeat and ruin" (Unfolding Covenant History, vol. 5, p.
Announcements (subject to God’s will):
The second offering taken this morning will be for
our building fund.
Prof. & Mrs. Hanko arrive on Friday, 16 November.
There is a sign-up sheet on the back table for those who would
like to have them over for dinner.
The Council’s monthly meeting is tomorrow
night, 7:30 PM at the manse.
Catechism classes: Monday, 5:00 PM at the
Murrays Monday, 6:30 PM with the Campbells at the manse Thursday,
7:00 PM at the Hamills
Membership Class: Tuesday, 8:30 PM, at the
Midweek Bible Study on Wednesday at 7:45 PM at
the manse will continue with II Timothy 2:2 on theological training of
This Friday, Rev. Stewart will give the lecture
"Lessons from the Reformation for Today," in Limerick at 7:30 PM.
Please remember this witness in your prayers.
Offerings: General Fund - £1,236.63.
£100 (Building Fund), £7 (tapes), £15 (pamphlets), £10 (C. R.
News), £90 (lecture).
The Reformed Witness Hour next Lord’s Day
(8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846MW), is entitled "Wives, Be Subject to Your
Own Husband" (Eph. 5:22-24).
Women’s Bible Study meets next week Tuesday, 13
Nov., 10:30 AM at the Murrays.
The PRC church visitors, Rev. Daniel Kleyn and
Elder Jim Holstege, plan to arrive on 11 January, 2008. Sharon Kleyn
plans to come as well. Please reserve Friday, 18 January, for our
Website Additions: 1 Ukrainian ("What About the
Alpha Course?" by Rev. Ron Hanko) and 3 Portuguese translations were
added to the website.
PRC News: Calvary PRC (Hull, IA) called Rev. R.
Kleyn (Trinity, MI).
Considering the North Star
Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine
for they are ever with me. Psalm 119:98
Though only the 49th brightest star in the
night sky, the North Star is one of the most famous. Because it is so
near to the sky’s north pole, it has been very useful for travelers on
land and navigators at sea. Using the stars at the end of the Big
Dipper’s bowl to find the North Star is one of the first things we teach
our children about the heavens.
Just as a toy top will wobble on its axis while
spinning, the earth also wobbles on its axis. As the earth does so, the
north pole traces a circle on the dome of the heavens. Scientists
estimate it would take the earth’s pole 25,800 years to complete the
circle. This means that what we know as the North Star was not always
the Pole Star. Four thousand six hundred years ago when the pyramids
were being built in Egypt, a different star was the Pole Star. However,
Polaris is now so close to the celestial pole that it is a more accurate
guide to true north than a compass because the earth’s magnetic pole is
not located at earth’s north pole, and the magnetic pole also changes
The North Star’s nearly unmoving position makes it a
faithful guide. This feature of Polaris was celebrated by the poet and
journalist William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878) in the last two stanzas of
his poem "Hymn to the North Star."
On thy unfaltering blaze
The half-wrecked mariner, his compass lost,
Fixes his steady gaze,
And steers, undoubting, to the friendly coast;
And they who stray in perilous wastes, by night,
Are glad when thou dost shine to guide their footsteps
And, therefore, bards of old,
Sages, and hermits of the solemn wood,
Did in thy beams behold
A beauteous type of that unchanging good,
That bright eternal beacon, by whose ray
The voyager of time should shape his heedful way.
Just as land travelers and mariners of days gone by,
we and our children have a great need for guidance for we are pilgrims
in a strange land and sail stormy spiritual seas. The world is a wicked
place. I remember back in the 1960s when my great-grandmother said to my
father that she thought how hard it would be to raise children in such
godless times. The last four decades have not improved society’s
spiritual landscape or made godly parents’ task any easier. All one
needs to do is read the reviews of movies and television programs in the
newspaper to discern that the world of entertainment is no friend to
In Psalm 119 the psalmist writes that God’s
commandments make him wiser than his enemies, whereby he attributes a
certain wisdom to the foe. Satan has 6000 years of experience in
temptation. He constantly circles and probes us and our children,
searching for weaknesses which he can exploit for his advantage. If one
class of temptation does not work, Satan will search for one which will.
God’s constant law makes us wiser than the enemy.
With His law before us lighting our way, the snares of Satan are
exposed. Spiritual discretion will remind us of the real end of those
who satisfy sinful desires. Forays into the realms of sin will deprive
us of the fellowship of God’s friendship. We will feel His displeasure
in our hearts. God’s law, as Polaris, is a faithful guide directing us
to a way which is safe.
Our spiritual struggle with the world is hard enough,
but we must keep in mind that we always have our sinful flesh with us.
It is in our hearts where we find the real front of our spiritual
warfare. The great battle does not rage merely "out there somewhere,"
but it rages within each of us. We might try to find places of refuge
from the world’s godlessness, but we will never escape the fallen nature
of our weak flesh while we are on the earth. We have a ceaseless
struggle on our hands. "Mortify therefore your members which are upon
the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil
concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry." (Col. 3:5) This is
not easy. The old man of sin in us will not be driven from the
battlefield easily. It is a life and death struggle involving desperate,
brutal hand-to-hand combat.
We must follow the psalmist’s example and have God’s
law "ever with" us. The way to do that is to have the law written on our
hearts. Psalm 119:11 says, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I
might not sin against thee." This will not happen by accident. It will
not happen without effort. It is not some birthright which is just
handed to us. We must be diligent in our study of God’s Word.
If our Lord tarries, earth’s wobbling axis will cause
the Pole Star to change and lose its honored position. Polaris would no
longer be a faithful guide. God’s Word, however, never changes. His law
will always be with us. May God use our diligent efforts in our schools
so our children can sing in Psalter #333, "In its constant light I go,
wise to conquer every foe." - Mr. Brian Dykstra, teacher at Hope
Prot. Ref. Christian School